It’s been a while. The last one of these was in 2014, but we’re back with the top tops of things to do in London over the next couple of weeks. This will be the first of these that I’m recommending things to do in London that doesn’t involve The Forge music venue in Camden. I really miss that place after closing this earlier this year – it’s a real loss to London music and culture
Lets roll this out. As always I have a selection of the best music, art, film and culture over this fair city the next few weeks
Afropunk @ The Printworks (until Sunday 23rd July)
Born in Brooklyn in 2005 and now returning to London for its second year. The Afropunk fest comes to the Printworks for a weekend of music, film, skate, art and celebrating in the influence of blackness in alternative and punk culture.
I can’t wait for this. Afropunk will feature whole host of artists across the weekend and is too long to list. Everyone from Thundercat, Lianne La Havis, Danny Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Blacktronica, and The Internet will be playing
People will also be out there dressing to slay!!! I’ve got my costumes at the ready!!! Did I say already I can’t wait for this?
Saturday 22nd July – Sunday 23rd July
The Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7PJ
1pm until 11pm
Swerve @ Westbank Music (Friday 4th August)
Time for some shameless self promotion. I’ll be DJing at the legendary Swerve liquid drum ‘n’ bass night. Liquid funk was born and raised at Swerve. Fabio serves up a dose of premium quality, soul-fuelled drum n bass.
This month’s line up consists of Fabio, Paul T and myself Tendai at West London’s Westbank Music. See you on the dance floor
Friday 4th August
Westbank Music, 3-5 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL
£5 in advanace, £12 on the door
Jazz Re:Fest 2017 @ The Southbank Centre (Sunday 5th August)
Last year was my first Jazz Re:Fest and I’ve been looking forward to going back ever since!!! This annual one-day festival showcasing the ever-changing world of jazz, with eight live performances. It was created to give emerging jazz talent the opportunity to share a stage with some of the industry’s established artists, and it has already grown into one of the biggest one-day jazz festivals in the UK.
With a line up that includes Omar, The Sons of Kemet, Nubya Garcia, Triforce and more. There will also be clothes music and art on sale from United 80. For the first time this year they are also extending the party to the outdoor terrace with DJs all day. This is going to be the so amazing
Sunday 6th August 2017
The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1
Theo Eshetu: Slave Ship @ Tiwani Contemporary (Until Saturday 12th August)
I was first introduced to Theo’s work a year ago and have been following him ever since
Slave ship is his new video installation combining his formal interest in the moving image with anthropological ideas to examine the notion of culture itself.
With The Slave Ship, Theo Eshetu continues his exploration of the fundamental components of video – time, movement and light – and creates a pensive oceanic epic evoking the history of slavery
The viewer is invited to look into a window that gives onto a pitch-black space. There, a perfect, lucent orb shimmers with moving images of abyssal waters and enigmatic landscapes
This is guaranteed to be deep and absorbing
30th June – 12th August
16 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BP
10am to 6pm
The Place is Here @ South London Gallery (until 10th September)
Spanning painting, sculpture, photography, film and archives, The Place is Here brings together works by 25 artists and raises questions about identity, representation and the purpose of culture remain vital today.
The exhibition traces a number of conversations that took place between black artists, writers and thinkers as revealed through a broad range of creative practice. Against a backdrop of civil unrest and divisive national politics, they were exploring their relationship to Britain’s colonial past as well as to art history.
Together, they show how a new generation of practitioners were positioning themselves in relation to different discourses and politics – amongst them, Civil Rights-era “Black art” in the US; Pan-Africanism; Margaret Thatcher’s anti-immigration policies and the resulting uprisings across the country; apartheid; black feminism; and the burgeoning field of cultural studies. Significantly, artists were addressing these issues by reworking and subverting a range of art-historical references and aesthetic strategies, from William Morris to Pop Art, documentary practices and the introduction of Third Cinema to the UK.
As Lubaina Himid – one of the artists in the exhibition and from whose words the title is borrowed – wrote in 1985, “We are claiming what is ours and making ourselves visible”.
Although this exhibition of works and archive material from the 80’s it is timely relevant to this turbulent times
until 10th September
South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Rd, London SE5 8UH
11am – 6pm
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power @ The Tate Modern (until 22nd October)
From the art of black British artists of the 80s to the one that shines a light on the black artists of the American Civil Rights movement. Artists responded to these times by provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations. Their momentum makes for an electrifying visual journey. Vibrant paintings, powerful murals, collage, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures made with Black hair, melted records, and tights – the variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.
Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali appears in Andy Warhol’s famous painting.
This landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.
Until 22nd October
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG
10am to 6pm/10pm
Summer Arts Exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts (Until 20th August)
Always a highlight of summer is the Royal Academy Summer Arts exhibition which displays art of today from painting, printmaking, film, performance art and sculpture. It features art of well-known artists as well as lesser known artists given a platform to display their work through the RA’s submission process
The exhibition is always great and insightful which a myriad of works of many artists from across the globe
Until 20th August
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
10am – 6pm/10pm
Exhibitions & Culture
Black Sound @ The Black Cultural Archives (until 6th November)
In a celebration of Black British Musicians Black Sound tells the story of 100 years of musical creativity and DIY ingenuity. Overcoming the majority status quo of the music industry, Black British music has migrated from the margins to re-master the mainstream. This exhibition celebrates the pioneers that made it happen – the players, the promoters, the producers and the punters that changed Britain’s cultural history.
This timely exhibition combines sound, moving image and archive material, to dynamically tell the story of Black British music. Black Sound takes you through three phases of this musical journey: Original Imports, D.I.Y Culture and Re-mastering the Mainstream. These themes are consistent throughout the history of Black British music, linking individuals, generations and genres – tracking the evolution of multi-cultural Britain through sound.
This exhibition will be a deeply immersive insight into Black British musical culture and heritage. Also running alongside the exhibition will be a series of events celebrating black British music
7th April – 6th November
Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, London, Brixton SW2 1EF
10am – 6pm
Camberwell Fair 2017 @ Camberwell Green (Saturday 22nd July)
With the aim of creating a modern version of this long-standing annual gathering, rooted firmly in the mixed demographic of modern South East London but proudly embracing the history of both the Fair and the community as a whole the Camberwell Fair is back for its third edition
It is a celebration of the diverse people, culture and community of the local area, and will feature 2 top quality music stages, 40 market stalls, food, bars and games, attracting over 3000 people to Camberwell Green on the day of the event.
Afro/jazz/electronic pioneers Wormfood curate a diverse lineup with music from both near and far, including live hip-hop favorites The Mouse Outfit, traditional Ghanaian drumming and singing from the UK’s leading African drumming troupe Kakatsitsi, sleazy new school soul from Brighton’s Lebeaux, UK klezmer from Tantz, plus a UK debut for France’s Balaphonics, fusing West African balafon with brass band tradition.
The Camberwell Stage will play host to a series of lovingly handpicked showcases from acclaimed broadcaster and curator Shahlaa Discovers, community music activists Midi Music, pioneering music education charity School Ground Sounds and the UK’s leading poetry organisation Hammer and Tongue, plus a special set from Camberwell’s much-loved Owl Parliament choir.
One top of that there will be a host of food from local independent businesses, as well as dancing and activities for children
Last year was amazing and I’ll be going this year pre Afropunk for sure
Saturday 22nd July
Camberwell Green, SE5 7AS
12am – 9pm
Into the Unknown – A Journey through Science Fiction @ The Barbican Curve (until 1st September)
Into the Unknown brings together artists, designers, filmmakers, SFX specialists, musicians and writers all testing the boundaries of reality through some of the most experimental works of all time. Curated by Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition explores the classic narratives of Science Fiction and presents them from a new, global perspective.
Uncover hidden gems from original manuscripts by Jules Verne to props and models from blockbuster films including Star Wars™, Star Trek, Interstellar, District 9, Alien, Jurassic Park and Godzilla. Interact with new work by the Oscar award-winning VFX specialists behind Ex Machina and The Martian, adventure into a gallery of aliens and discover vintage postcards and advertisements promoting Soviet visions of space. Find out about the ways in which contemporary art has used Science Fiction as a framework to address the important and sometimes subversive questions of our time, with work by Larissa Sansour, Soda_Jerk, Dara Birnbaum, Trevor Paglen, Conrad Shawcross, Isaac Julien and many more. Into the Unknown takes you on an extraordinary journey, from the 19th century cabinet of curiosities to the vast vistas of space, through future cities and into the inner landscapes of human perception.
A selection of artists’ short films will be featured within the exhibition, including; Afronautsby American writer Frances Bodomo, inspired by the true story of the short-lived Zambia space programme, Pumzi (Breath in Swahili) by Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu and Invisible Cities #Part 4 #Stations by French director Pierre-Jean Giloux on the Japanese Metabolism movement. Elsewhere, a video installation from the award-winning British TV series Black Mirror will take over the Barbican’s Silk Street entrance hall.
Alongside a dedicated exhibition catalogue, a public programme will accompany the exhibition, including film screenings of Science Fiction cults and classics, musical performances and a series of talk events in partnership with New Scientist and Penguin Classics.
This is a must for all science fiction fans out there
Until 1st September
The Black Market & Film Festival @ West Green Learning Centre (Saturday 29th July)
Black by popular demand. The Black Market & Film Festival is an event to showcase, expose and connect Black cultural and creative entrepreneurs to the community and to provide a platform to sell their products, promote their skills and engage with the local and surrounding community. The event aims to show case and connect Black cultural and creative entrepreneurs to the community, increase the exposure of Black cultural and creative sector’s participation in the wider community
There will be stalls showcasing African Arts & Crafts, jewellery, Fashion, Skincare, Hair Care, Food, Books, DVDs, Toys & more! It will feature educational and interactive presentation on Financial Literacy and film screenings for all the family. There will also be children activities by S.T.E.A.M Power who use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) led activities that help to raise children’s aspirations and cognitive abilities
Saturday 29th July
1West Green Learning Centre at Parkway Academy, West Green Road, N15 3QR
12pm – 9pm
£8.50 – £10
Kuso @ Regent Street Cinema (Friday 21st July)
Now for a dose of weirdness. Kuso is the directorial debut of Steve aka Captain Murphy aka Flying Lotus. Kuso tells the story of four survivors after an earthquake in California in a dystopian future in what the man himself has described as part slapstick comedy, part musical, and part bizarro horror.
This movie has divided critics and led to many people walking out of screenings and has been described as the grossest movie of the year. Starring George Clinton, Anders Holm, Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker as well as music from FlyLo himself, Aphex Twin and Thundercat
This movie has been coming with warnings. The trailer shows a taste of the madness to come
Go watch it but at the same time don’t blame me if you do
Friday 21st July
Regents Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, Marylebone, London W1B 2UW
La Haine screening & French hip-hop special @ Boondocks (Thursday July 27th)
La Haine is one of the most seminal movies of its time and more than 20 years later it’s still as hard hitting as its original release. It’s a film so important that upon its release the then French prime minister Alain Juppé arranged a special screening for his cabinet to watch. It follows the story of three young men in a French projects in the 24 hours following a riot. Looking at the recent events of police brutality this film is more relevant than ever
In a special screening Sound Mind will have DJs playing French hip-hop both before and after the screening with food and drink served throughout. It’s going to be a great evening
Thursday 22nd July
Boondocks, 205 City Road, EC1V 1JT
7pm – 10.30pm
Peckham Craft Beer Festival @ Copeland Park (Saturday 22nd July)
The Biggest and Best Beer Festival the South has ever seen and its Free!
Bringing together the best of South East London’s Brewery’s as well as other great brewery’s around London and beyond! Together they will have a day of celebrating Beer, Food and Music all around Peckham’s iconic Copeland Park.
DJs, 20 breweries, street food Cocktails and a roof top bar. What can go wrong
Saturday 22nd July
Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Rd, Peckham, SE15 3SN
12pm – 11pm